Extra Credit Question: How many phonemes are in the word “box”? (If you’re not sure, read the mini-dictionary that follows and see if you can figure it out. Answer below.)
Today I attended an all-day professional development workshop for the special education team members at my practicum site. The title of the presentation (which included more than 240 powerpoint slides!) read “Evidence-Based Instruction for Students Struggling with Reading, Writing, and/or Mathematics.” I was pleased to find that I already was familiar with quite a bit of the information in the section of the presentation on reading interventions; we have spent the last several weeks in our Assessment & Intervention class discussing how to assess reading skills and ways to help children improve their vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
As midterms comes barreling towards us this week, it was exciting to realize how many new terms, strategies, and theories I have learned in the first part of this semester and how useful these are when working in a school setting. As school psychologists, we will be expected to understand the ways certain students need additional academic support, and to problem-solve to find alternative methods of instruction for students who truly struggle. I have decided to make a mini-dictionary of important reading intervention terms for anyone involved with special education.
Important Reading Intervention Vocabulary:
Phonemes: single speech sound (for example, “cat” has three phonemes, /c/, /a/, and /t/)
Phonological awareness: knowing that spoken language is made up of individual sounds (one of the most important pre-reading skills)
Graphemes: the visuals that represent sounds
Segmentation: the ability to separate sounds in words
Sound blending: the ability to put sounds together
Multi-sensory: employs multiple senses (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile)
The alphabetic principle: the use of alphabetic letters that represent speech sounds in a systematic way
Extra Credit Answer: 4 /b/ /o/ /k/ /s/
If you got this right, you are on track to learn to read! Congratulations!